SECCA to Present Exhibition Featuring Eric Juth; Fifth Artist in SECCA’s Southern Idiom Series
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (July 12, 2018)—The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) is presenting an exhibition featuring artwork by Eric Juth, the fifth artist in SECCA’s new curated sale series Southern Idiom. An opening reception will be held Thursday, July 26, 2018 from 6-7:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Juth’s artwork will be available for purchase and will remain on display through August 26.
Opening Reception July 26
Exhibition is entitled: Prove You’re Not a Robot
Eric Juth is an artist and educator who is originally from the Pittsburgh area and is now based in Winston-Salem. The series of prints in the “Prove you’re not a robot” exhibit are selections from an ongoing series that began in 2016 and uses as its source material Google reCAPTCHA images. In the past two years, Juth has participated in group exhibitions in Durham, Raleigh, Asheville, Philadelphia, and New York City. His work also was recently included in the Homeostasis Lab pavilion as part of the third edition of “The Wrong: New Digital Art Biennale.” In early 2017, the first iteration of the “Prove you’re not a robot” series was exhibited at the Gatewood Gallery at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Juth holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Documentary Film Production and a Master of Arts degree in Communications from Wake Forest University. As an undergraduate, he studied painting and art history at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and took part in Yale’s Summer School of Painting in Norfolk.
Regarding his “Prove You’re Not a Robot” series, Juth wrote the following artist’s statement:
“The ‘reCAPTCHA’ system was developed by computer security researchers to prevent bots from exploiting services provided by websites and social media platforms. One usually encountered these narrowly cropped, lo-res JPEGs, which were sourced from Google Street View, during the process of creating an online profile. Between May and July of 2016, just prior to them becoming obsolete and all but vanishing from the Internet, I had manually downloaded over 2,000 reCAPTCHA image files. These ostensibly mundane, yet nonetheless operative images, served as the most conspicuous element of an automated gatekeeping system designed to prevent bots from simulating human agents: ‘Prove you’re not a robot.’
The reCAPTCHA image files became the constituent elements for an ongoing series of collages and other works of art. I print the collages on a vinyl mesh material, which is typically used to obscure construction sites, because its perforated surface evokes the shimmer of a computer monitor. I was initially drawn to the generic sense of ‘placelessness’ that imbued these odd pictures of the world, which more or less uniformly displayed street addresses. However, other features from the domain of humans and nature occasionally infiltrated their frames: flowerpots, tree branches, curtains, sedans, and other things that robots would have little use for.
Yet, beyond these incidental encroachments and their peculiar status as documentary images, I also became increasingly fascinated by how the reCATPCHA images figured into digital labor and automation; cultural production and corporate hegemony; mass surveillance and the erosion of privacy; and development of AI. In these aforementioned contexts, where the reCAPTCHA images interface with society, culture, and technology, they acquire an artifact-like quality and the folder that I store them suddenly evokes a digital excavation site.”
Located in SECCA’s Preview Gallery, Southern Idiom is a new series that explores local artists and the variety of forms they produce. Past artists include Frank Campion, Kevin Calhoun, Laura Lashley, and Travis Philips. Artwork in the series is for sale, and proceeds benefit both the artist and SECCA’s exhibition fund.
The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem, N.C. is a creative leader of the arts in the Southeast, a museum boldly giving artists of the region a platform for visibility while connecting local communities with the international world of contemporary art. Located at 750 Marguerite Drive, the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. For hours, please visit secca.org. SECCA is an affiliate of the North Carolina Museum of Art, a division of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. SECCA receives operational funding from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Additional funding is provided by the James G. Hanes Memorial Fund.
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susi H. Hamilton, NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development. NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit ncdcr.gov.